Genome Prairie

2015 Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Competition

Request for Applications

2015 Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Competition

Request for Application (DOC)

Registration Form (DOC)

Application Form (DOC)

Budget Template (EXCEL) 

 

 **NOTE: Please note a revised application form above which includes a section for a simplified, high level budget similar to the format used in Phase 1 of the Disruptive Innovation in Genomics competition. Appendix II – Budget and Supporting Documents has also been removed. A detailed Excel budget is NOT required in the full application. Note that all successful applicants will be asked to provide a more detailed budget as part of meeting the Notice of Award conditions and it is expected that applicants will work with Genome Centre staff to ensure that the budget meets all requirements outlined in the Guidelines for Funding Research Projects.**


Competition Timeline

Date
Activity
October 29, 2015
Launch of Request for Applications (RFA)
December 4, 2015
Registrations due to Genome Prairie
December 11, 2015
Due date for registrations at Genome Canada
December 18, 2015
Review of eligibility of registrations by Genome Canada completed
TBA
Full Applications due to Genome Prairie*Centre deadline dates could be several weeks earlier than Genome Canada deadline
March 4, 2016
Deadline for Full Applications at Genome Canada
Early May, 2016
Review process completed
Late June, 2016
Decisions by Genome Canada and Partners
Late June, 2016
Notification of Decision


1.    Overview

Genome Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), is seeking proposals for research projects to address any aspect of bioinformatics[1] and computational biology[2] (B/CB) as it relates to genomics[3]. Proposals with applications across all of Genome Canada’s sectors are welcome, i.e., agriculture, energy, environment, aquaculture/fisheries, forestry, human health and mining. 

The massive and ongoing influx of data from ‘omics research underscores the need for new computational and theoretical tools in modern biology.  These tools are essential for analyzing and integrating complex data sets and to better understand the associated biology. The lack of efficient B/CB tools and methodologies available to analyse these data sets and maximize the impact of the research is a major bottleneck faced by the genomics research community.  Genome Canada has identified B/CB as a priority area with the goal to create an environment that supports the creation and evolution of enhanced B/CB tools and methodologies. In August 2015, a B/CB Advisory Committee struck by Genome Canada and CIHR released a consultative version of a Strategic Framework for the future of B/CB in Canada (see www.bioinformatics/ca/bcb). 

CIHR is partnering on this Request for Applications (RFA) in support of proposals in the area of human health because it recognizes that application of current technologies in genomics would create health-related data sets of unprecedented size and complexity, such that advanced computational tools are required for their analysis. While these data are of potential enormous importance for health and wellness, extracting value from this vast amount of information is a critical challenge. Thus, advancing the field of B/CB through innovative or transformative ideas with the potential to disrupt current practices in the area of B/CB will be a key to enabling novel translational research applications in health-related areas.

Through this Genome Canada and CIHR Strategic Partnership, Genome Canada will continue implementing a vital element of its Strategic Plan and CIHR will deliver on key objectives underpinning the CIHR Personalized Medicine Signature Initiative.

 2.    Objectives

The major objectives of this RFA are to:

1)    support the development of next generation Bioinformatics and Computational Biology tools and methodologies that will be required by the research community to deal with the influx of large amounts of data produced by modern genomics technologies; and,

2)    provide broad and timely access of these new Bioinformatics and Computational Biology tools to the research community.

To ensure that the objectives of the RFA are met, all applications must address the evaluation criteria established for the competition, i.e., research, benefits, management and financial (see Appendix 1). Only those proposals demonstrating the highest degree of overall excellence will be funded.

3.    Funding Available and Term

4.  Eligibility and Types of Proposals Being Sought

To be eligible for this competition, proposals must meet the following requirements:

This competition provides an opportunity for individuals or small groups to propose innovative ideas with the potential for significant impact that will disrupt current practices in the B/CB community and to stimulate the B/CB community to address real world challenges and currently recognized needs in the field. Applications should also encourage the involvement of researchers from a variety of other disciplines including, but not limited to, biology, statistics and mathematics.

All applications are expected to propose new approaches to data analysis and data interpretation in the area of genomics, including development of software tools and algorithms. Of particular interest will be proposals addressing problems associated with current data handling and analysis and proposals addressing challenges arising from handling and analysis of data emerging from new technologies.  Such tools and methods, in the long term, are expected to underpin Canada’s national B/CB strategy and will help the Canadian research community in maximizing the impact of data generated by new and future ‘omics technologies.

In order to maximize the effectiveness of this RFA in advancing B/CB and its application to genomics in Canada, sharing of resources and expertise through inter-regional or international collaboration is encouraged at all levels.

5.    Benefits

The ongoing need for efficient B/CB tools and methodologies available to analyse large genomics data sets is a major bottleneck faced by the genomics research community. Genome Canada recognizes that the real value of genomics research can only be realized through the development of novel B/CB tools and methodologies. The purpose of this RFA is to enable the B/CB community to develop these B/CB tools and methodologies to facilitate genomics research which will lead to benefits for the genomics research community and eventually Canada. 

All applications must describe, with supporting evidence, the deliverable(s) that will be realized by the end of the project. Deliverables should have practical applicability in as short a time as possible after the end of the project and lead to benefits for the genomics research community in Canada and worldwide.

Applications must include a plan and time-frame that outlines how the deliverables from the research will be transferred, disseminated, used, and/or applied to realize the benefits to the genomics community. Although open source/open access currently typifies the B/CB community, applicants are invited to articulate alternative options for community availability and downstream development as long as the dissemination plan ensures maximum community uptake. Preference will be given to applications with a high potential for community impact and/or uptake regardless of the type of dissemination plan proposed.

6.    Guidelines for Funding

Genome Canada’s Guidelines for Funding Research Projects must be adhered to throughout the competition and post-award management processes.

6.1.        Exceptions to the Guidelines

Exceptions to the Guidelines specific to this RFA include:

6.2.        Additional Guidelines

Additional Guidelines specific to this RFA include:

Ineligible costs:

6.3.        CIHR Guidelines 

In addition, in order to receive funds from CIHR, their guidelines must also be followed. See the CIHR Guidelines and Policies for a complete listing of all CIHR guidelines and policies.

7.    Application Process

Applicants are required to apply for funding through their regional Genome Centre.

7.1.        Registration

A brief Registration form will be used to provide early guidance on elements such as who is applying, what they are planning to do, expected deliverables, approximate budgets and suggested reviewers. This will allow for screening for eligibility by the Genome Centres (followed by final decisions on eligibility by Genome Canada) and facilitate the early selection of reviewers for the peer review process.  Information from eligible Registrations (i.e., name of project leader(s), lead institution, title of project, research areas and keywords) will be posted on the Genome Canada website to facilitate the identification of areas of potential synergy between applications from across the country so that applicants could consider engaging with other researchers on a common project.

7.2.        Full Application

Full applications must address the evaluation criteria established for the competition, i.e., research, benefits, and management and financial. A final check for eligibility will be carried out. Only those proposals demonstrating the highest degree of overall excellence in terms of the review criteria will be funded.

Genome Canada may adjust its evaluation processes where warranted by the number or complexity of proposals received or other relevant factors.  Any changes will be rapidly communicated through Genome Canada’s website and through the Genome Centres.

7.3.        Co-Funding

Co-funding is NOT required.

7.4.        CIHR Relevance Review for Health-Related Proposals

Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Genetics (CIHR-IG), Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Cancer Research (CIHR-ICR), Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Institute of Infection and Immunity (CIHR-III) will have access to the complete registrations and full applications in order to conduct a relevance review to identify projects that have potential application to health. If additional CIHR Institutes decide to participate in the competition, access to this material will also be provided to them to identify projects relevant to their mandate and/or priority areas. 

8.    Competition Timeline

Requests for support of projects must be submitted to Genome Canada through a Genome Centre. The competition timeline outlined below includes both Genome Canada and Genome Centre deadlines. Please contact your regional Genome Centre for further information on their process and internal deadline dates.

Date

Activity

October 29, 2015

Launch of Request for Applications (RFA)

*Contact your regional Genome Centre

Registrations due at Genome Centres

*Centre deadline dates will be earlier than Genome Canada deadline

December 11, 2015

Due date for registrations at Genome Canada

December 18, 2015

Review of eligibility of registrations by Genome Canada completed

*Contact your regional Genome Centre

Full Applications due at Genome Centres

*Centre deadline dates could be several weeks earlier than Genome Canada deadline

March 4, 2016

Deadline for Full Applications at Genome Canada

Early May, 2016

Review process completed

Late June, 2016

Decisions by Genome Canada and Partners

Late June, 2016

Notification of Decision

   

 9.    Contacts

Andy Stone

Genome
Atlantic

(902) 421-5646

astone@genomeatlantic.ca

Christine Martens

Genome
Québec

(514) 398-0668

cmartens@genomequebec.com

Meredith McLaren

Ontario
Genomics

(416) 673-6562

 

mmclaren@ontariogenomics.ca

 

Chris Barker

Genome
Prairie

(306) 229-7724

cbarker@genomeprairie.ca

Gijs van Rooijen

Genome
Alberta

(403) 210-5253 

vanrooijen@genomealberta.ca

Gabe Kalmar

Genome
British

Columbia

(604) 637-4374

gkalmar@genomebc.ca

For questions on CIHR funding guidelines, how to apply, and the peer review process contact: 

For all inquiries please contact:   

Telephone: 613-954-1968

Toll Free: 1-888-603-4178

Email: support@cihr-irsc.gc.ca

For questions about this initiative and research objectives contact:

Eric Marcotte

Associate Director

CIHR Institute of Genetics

CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction

Telephone: 905-467-1822


Appendix 1 – Evaluation of Applications

Proposals submitted to Genome Canada are evaluated through a rigorous independent peer review process to assess their eligibility, research merit and potential for benefits to the genomics research community as well as to ensure that sound management and financial practices are implemented.  Excellence in terms of the review criteria at the highest of international standards must be demonstrated for funding to be awarded.

1.    Eligibility Criteria

Each proposal will be reviewed for eligibility at every stage of the application process. The following criteria will be used.                         

If considered eligible, the proposal will be reviewed using the criteria described below.

2.    Review Criteria

The review criteria fall into three categories:

1)       Research Proposal;

2)       Benefits; and,

3)       Management and Finance

Note that the descriptive phrases which follow the criteria below are not all-inclusive. 

2.1. Research Proposal

2.2. Benefits

2.3. Management and Finance



[1] The term bioinformatics is defined here as the development and application of computational tools and approaches for maximizing the use of genomics data.

[2] The term computational biology is defined here as the development and application of theoretical data-analytical methods, mathematical modeling and computational simulation techniques in the context of the study of biological systems.

[3] The term genomics is defined here as the comprehensive study, using high throughput technologies, of the genetic information of a cell or organism, including the function of specific genes, their interactions with each other and the activation and suppression of genes. For purposes of describing Genome Canada’s mandate it also includes related disciplines such as bioinformatics, epigenomics, metabolomics, metagenomics, proteomics and transcriptomics.

[4]  CIHR's RAF is intended to support transformative and impactful research that aligns with CIHR’s Research Priorities (http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/48964.html#a5) and is multi-disciplinary in nature. Scientific leadership and support for this RAF-funded initiative is shared across CIHR’s Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), Institute of Genetics (IG), and Institute of Infection and Immunity (III).

[5] CIHR's IMHA is intended to support applications that align with its relevant research areas: Chronic Pain and Fatigue, Inflammation and Tissue Repair and Disability, Mobility and Health. CIHR-IMHA supports research to enhance active living, mobility and movement, and oral health; and addresses causes, prevention,screening, diagnosis, treatment, support systems, and palliation for a wide range of conditions related to bones, joints, muscles, connective tissue, skin and teeth.